Connecting with politicians, celebrities and athletes is a low priority for most social media users, but it’s significantly more common among black and Hispanic users than among whites, according to a new studyfrom the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Twitter users are also more likely to say following public figures is a major or minor reason they go to social media compared with people on Facebook and other social media sites, the study reported.
About 10 percent of black social media users and 11 percent of Hispanic users say reading comments from public figures is a major reason they use social media compared with just 3 percent of white users, according to the report. About 31 percent of black and 26 percent of Hispanic users say this is a minor reason they’re on social media, compared with 16 percent of white users.
The survey did not distinguish between public figures in government, entertainment and sports.
About three-quarters of social media users say reading comments from public figures plays no role at all in their use of social media, the report found.
Among Twitter users, 11 percent say reading public figures’ comments is a major reason they use the platform and 30 percent say it’s a minor reason, the report said. Among social media users overall, only 4 percent say this is a major reason they’re on social media and 11 percent say it’s a minor reason.
The most important reasons users cited for being on social media were keeping up with friends and family, reconnecting with old friends and discussing a shared interest or hobby.
Following public figures did beat out finding romantic partners as a reason people turn to social media. Nearly 85 percent of survey respondents said that played no role in their social media use and most of the remainder said it played only a minor role. The survey seems to have excluded dating sites.